World War II marked the apogee of industrialized “total war.” Great powers savaged one another. Hostilities engulfed the globe. Mobilization extended to virtually every sector of every nation. Air war, including the terror bombing of civilians, emerged as a central strategy of the victorious Anglo-American powers. The devastation was catastrophic almost everywhere, with the notable exception of the United States, which exited the strife unscathed and unmatched in power and influence. The death toll of fighting forces plus civilians worldwide was staggering. The Violent “American Century” addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945—beginning with brutal localized hostilities, proxy wars, and the nuclear terror of the Cold War, and ending with the asymmetrical conflicts of the present day. The military playbook now meshes brute force with a focus on non-state terrorism, counterinsurgency, clandestine operations, a vast web of overseas American military bases, and—most touted of all—a revolutionary new era of computerized “precision” warfare. By contrast to World War II, postwar death and destruction has been comparatively small. By any other measure, it has been appalling—and shows no sign of abating. The winner of numerous national prizes for his historical writings, including the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, Dower draws heavily on hard data and internal U.S. planning and pronouncements in this concise analysis of war and terror in our time. In doing so, he places U.S. policy and practice firmly within the broader context of global mayhem, havoc, and slaughter since World War II—always with bottom-line attentiveness to the human costs of this legacy of unceasing violence.
In 1941 the magazine publishing titan Henry R. Luce urged the nation’s leaders to create an American Century. But in the post-World-War-II era proponents of the American Century faced a daunting task. Even so, Luce had articulated an animating idea that, as William O. Walker III skillfully shows in The Rise and Decline of the American Century, would guide United States foreign policy through the years of hot and cold war. The American Century was, Walker argues, the counter-balance to defensive war during World War II and the containment of communism during the Cold War. American policymakers pursued an aggressive agenda to extend U.S. influence around the globe through control of economic markets, reliance on nation-building, and, where necessary, provision of arms to allied forces. This positive program for the expansion of American power, Walker deftly demonstrates, came in for widespread criticism by the late 1950s. A changing world, epitomized by the nonaligned movement, challenged U.S. leadership and denigrated the market democracy at the heart of the ideal of the American Century. Walker analyzes the international crises and monetary troubles that further curtailed the reach of the American Century in the early 1960s and brought it to a halt by the end of that decade. By 1968, it seemed that all the United States had to offer to allies and non-hostile nations was convenient military might, nuclear deterrence, and the uncertainty of détente. Once the dust had fallen on Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency and Richard M. Nixon had taken office, what remained was, The Rise and Decline of the American Century shows, an adulterated, strategically-based version of Luce’s American Century.
"Traces the trajectory of the American Empire from its founding through to the end of the 20th century. This book demonstrates the falsity of the claim for American exceptionalism, a secular version of the old idea that America has been divinely founded and guided. The American Trajectory contains many episodes that many readers will find surprising: That the sinking of the Lusitania was anticipated, both by Churchill and Wilson, as a means of inducing America's entry into World War I; that the attack on Pearl Harbor was neither unprovoked nor a surprise; that during the "Good War" the US government plotted and played politics with a view to becoming the dominant empire; that there was no need to drop atomic bombs on Japan either to win the war or to save American lives; that US decisions were central to the inability of the League of Nations and the United Nations to prevent war; that the United States was more responsible than the Soviet Union for the Cold War; that the Vietnam War was far from the only US military adventure during the Cold War that killed great numbers of civilians; that the US government organized false flag attacks that deliberately killed Europeans; and that America's military interventions after the dissolution of the Soviet Union taught some conservatives (such as Andrew Bacevich and Chalmers Johnson) that the US interventions during the Cold War were not primarily defensive. The conclusion deals with the question of how knowledge by citizens of how the American Empire has behaved could make America better and how America, which had long thought of itself as the Redeemer Nation, might redeem itself."--Provided by publisher.
There is no doubt that President George W. Bush and his administration have transformed US foreign policy and reshaped global international relations in a very profound way. Many American commentators continue to talk about 9/11 as the day the world changed, but increasingly analysts around the world are concluding that more important than 9/11 have been the ideas that the Bush leadership brought into office in January 2001. Confronting the Bush Doctrine is the first book to take on the vitally important task of analyzing how the Asia Pacific region sees and evaluates what the United States is doing. With contributions from an outstanding group of scholars, many of whom are based in the region, this book will prove to be an invaluable resource to all students and scholars of American and Asian politics.
The Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations in the Rise of American Power
Author: Inderjeet Parmar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Category: Political Science
Inderjeet Parmar reveals the complex interrelations, shared mindsets, and collaborative efforts of influential public and private organizations in the building of American hegemony. Focusing on the involvement of the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie foundations in U.S. foreign affairs, Parmar traces the transformation of America from an "isolationist" nation into the world's only superpower, all in the name of benevolent stewardship. Parmar begins in the 1920s with the establishment of these foundations and their system of top-down, elitist, scientific giving, which focused more on managing social, political, and economic change than on solving modern society's structural problems. Consulting rare documents and other archival materials, he recounts how the American intellectuals, academics, and policy makers affiliated with these organizations institutionalized such elitism, which then bled into the machinery of U.S. foreign policy and became regarded as the essence of modernity. America hoped to replace Britain in the role of global hegemon and created the necessary political, ideological, military, and institutional capacity to do so, yet far from being objective, the Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie foundations often advanced U.S. interests at the expense of other nations. Incorporating case studies of American philanthropy in Nigeria, Chile, and Indonesia, Parmar boldly exposes the knowledge networks underwriting American dominance in the twentieth century.
US and UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq 2001-2012
Author: Alastair Finlan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Category: Political Science
Contemporary Military Strategy and the Global War on Terror offers an in-depth analysis of US/UK military strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 to the present day. It explores the development of contemporary military strategy in the West in the modern age before interrogating its application in the Global War on Terror. The book provides detailed insights into the formulation of military plans by political and military elites in the United States and United Kingdom for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Alastair Finlan highlights the challenges posed by each of these unique theatres of operation, the nature of the diverse enemies faced by coalition forces, and the shortcomings in strategic thinking about these campaigns. This fresh perspective on strategy in the West and how it has been applied in recent military campaigns facilitates a deep understanding of how wars have been and will be fought. Including key terms, concepts and discussion questions for each chapter, Contemporary Military Strategy and the Global War on Terror is a crucial text in strategic studies, and required reading for anyone interested in the new realities of transnational terrorism and twenty-first century warfare.
What do we know about effectively countering terrorism? What are the characteristics of successful or unsuccessful counter terrorism campaigns? This title addresses these and related questions, contributing to national security policy as well as to our understanding of the terrorist threat and how it can be defeated.
A New History of U.S. National Security Policy Since World War II
Author: Andrew J. Bacevich
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Essays by a diverse and distinguished group of historians, political scientists, and sociologists examine the alarms, emergencies, controversies, and confusions that have characterized America's Cold War, the post-Cold War interval of the 1990s, and today's "Global War on Terror." This "Long War" has left its imprint on virtually every aspect of American life; by considering it as a whole, The Long War is the first volume to take a truly comprehensive look at America's response to the national-security crisis touched off by the events of World War II. Contributors consider topics ranging from grand strategy and strategic bombing to ideology and economics and assess the changing American way of war and Hollywood's surprisingly consistent depiction of Americans at war. They evaluate the evolution of the national-security apparatus and the role of dissenters who viewed the myriad activities of that apparatus with dismay. They take a fresh look at the Long War's civic implications and its impact on civil-military relations. More than a military history, The Long War examines the ideas, policies, and institutions that have developed since the United States claimed the role of global superpower. This protracted crisis has become a seemingly permanent, if not defining aspect of contemporary American life. In breaking down the old and artificial boundaries that have traditionally divided the postwar period into neat historical units, this volume provides a better understanding of the evolution of the United States and U.S. policy since World War II and offers a fresh perspective on our current national security predicament.